To E. Rice Burroughs Esq
PALL MALL S.W.1.
Dec 4th 1919
Van Nuys. Calafornia
I am glad you were interested in my letter re supposed prehistoric reptiles
still being in existance in central Africa.
Before I get your letter I saw, in several of the English papers last
month, that there is again this rumour of some of the prehistoric
reptiles (called "dragons" in the middle ages) have been seen in the swamps
in in the Belgian Congo, "with long tusked snouts, eleven (?) feet, over
24 feet long. My idea is that, what were called the "dragons" like St.
George & St. Michael killed, were the last remaining examples of the
pre-historic reptiles which survived, just like the last wolf was killed
in Scotland the end of 1769.
Hagenback (the old gentleman who died a few years ago) was firmly convinced
that these prehistoric reptiles still existed in the swamps in central
Africa, also that Mamoths were in Siberia, & that, in the South Polar
Regions, there was some enormous animal which has not yet been discovered.
He said that sea-lions, & walrusses had been killed which bore traces
of having been bitten by & escaped from, some enormous animal which
had a mouth grip twice as large as the biggest polar bear.
did not tell me the names of his two travellers, he never let anyone know,
as he was very jealous of anyone knowing where & how to get wild animals
alive, as he of course wanted to keep the business in his own hands, but
he wanted me to finance his business, & no doubt, if he had not died,
he would have gone into the matter with me.
He was full of most interesting information about animals which no other
He used to feed his big snakes by tying some meat to a live duck or
rabbit by a short length of thin rope so that the snake, when it had killed
the duck or rabbit, had to swallow the meat as well, as he always hated
the idea of giving more
live animals to snakes than he could help; he was the most tender hearted
man I ever knew, & looked on animals as his friends, his lions purred
& rubbed their heads against him like cats.
He told me he had only shot an animal once, it was a hare & it screamed
& he could never shoot again.
Hagenbeack's two sons keep on the Business, you had better address HAGENBECK,
STELLINGEN, HAMBURG, GERMANY.
If you tell them I spoke to you about their late Father Carl Hagenbeck,
& the prehistoric reptiles in central Africa they will give you all
information, they are very nice young fellows.
have just got on Tarzan of the Apes at the Cinemetograph Theaters here
now, it is very well done, but it is a pity the elephant is an Indian instead
of an african one, I suppose african elephants are difficult to tame.
The little girl who is Tarzan when young, acts very well, but I wish
the professor knew better how to carry his rifle he keeps point it at everyone,
perhaps though it is in character.
I should like very much if you would let me know if you use the idea
of the prehistoric reptiles in a book; I did an equestrian statue of St.
George & the Dragon in which I put in a prehistoric reptile ( I forget
the name but it was the one with very big eyes, on a long neck) & found
it very effective. I have also heard, from a Burmese "Princess" who called
the other day, who wants to sell me "Tree climbing hounds", she says they
are called the Imperial Burmese Hounds & have never up to now
been see out of Burmah.
They are usually used for hunting the "Barking Deer", but can run up
tress, the dark brown, short hair, & very lightly built like "grey
hounds" which are used in Europe.
I am seeing if I can get a pair over, but I do not believe in their
tree climbing powers
Yours very truly
Walter Winans (sig)